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Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower flowers

Cardinal Flower
(Lobelia cardinalis)


  • 1 to 6 feet (usually 2 to 3 feet)


  • July to September


  • Native
  • Perennial
  • Forb / Wildflower


  • Full sun to part shade (best)

Soil moisture:

  • Medium to wet

Provides food for:

  • Hummingbirds (flowers)
  • Native bees (flowers)
  • Butterflies / moths (flowers)
  • Caterpillars (foliage)
  • Songbirds (caterpillars and other insects)


  • Cardinal flower is a hummingbird magnet.
  • Keep basal roseate of leaves clear of leaves and other mulch or debris during the winter, otherwise it will tend to die out.
  • Can be easily outcompeted by more aggressive plants if the soil is not disturbed regularly to let the seeds germinate and to give the basal leave access to plenty of light.

Native Range:

USDA range map for cardinal flower
Map credit: USDA Plants Database

Relevant Backyard Ecology Resources: